Raging Manhunter

July 02, 2018:

Martian Manhunter deals with rage issues lingering from Red Lantern control. Diana is there to help him a high tension setting.

Queens - NYC

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's evening in Long Island. It's been a tough few days for any superheroes working in New York — what with the bombings in Hell's Kitchen, apparent (sort of?) invasion of bikers searching for something for Thanos, and now this.

Word goes out through the JLA network about an altercation in Queens — the police scanners going wild about a hijacking of a truck transporting gold, that quickly becomes reports of an out-of-control gunfight. There's visible signs of it, on approach — most civilians have fled, flashing lights flicker across the neighborhood, and on the edge of South Ozone Park, there's the sound of scattered gunfire, though those noises, one by one, dim on approach.

J'onn in there, not in his human guise, but in his true, alien form — feet floating above the ground as he zooms with terrifying speed towards one of the gunmen. The Martian is usually coldly logical and practical in his dealings with enemies — certainly he prefers restraint over incapacitation over death, if given a choice. And it's clear, whatever they are dealing with, they are human, so he does have that choice. And yet…

Monents after the Martian Manhunter arrives at the gunman's location, the man goes flying through the air, soaring over trees, screaming in fear. At the speed and height he's sailing, he'll undoubtedly break multiple bones on his way down.

The Manhattan area was the area that Diana was assigned to guard over, to lead the affairs of protection for the city and its nearby locationas as well. Other super heroes would go TO Diana to learn about ways to help the New York City regions because of this. So its no wonder that the word reaches her of trouble in Long Island.

It takes a handful of minutes for her to arrive and when she does so she arrives via the screaming alien engines that power the Invisible Jet that roars through the sky… somewhere in the sky.

Diana Prince drops out of said jet and free falls with shield and sword on her back up to the last second where her legs kick forward and she lands sure-footed on the edge of the combat that is occuring.

With her dark hair all loosely flowing around her shoulders, Diana's blue eyes look up to watch the Martian Manhunter flying about. "Wonder Woman is on site, Manhunter." She says into the JLA communication device. Her eyes then fall down again to scan the area, while her hands reach for her sword and shield to pluck them out from behind her back.

There's no response from the Martian Manhunter, which is unusual in itself. Protocol and all that it entails is something J'onn admires and certainly abides by. A yell in the distance from his location indicates whereabouts he is, but it is not his voice — and these are merely humans, so he's probably okay. Maybe a comms glitch?

A wild smattering of gunfire near to where Diana lands prefaces the stumbling approach of a man wearing a ski mask, carrying a gun, with a large bag slung over his shoulder that is clearly weighing him down as he lopes along. He's glancing nervously over his shoulder, such that he doesn't seem aware of Diana's presence until he's almost on her, gun reflexively lifting upwards.

Diana's eyes spot the gunmen with the ski mask and she sighs heavily before she closes the distance between them with her sword and shield in hands she dives AT the gunman only to go for a leg manuever that will put her rolling down onto her side to grab hold of the man's legs with her own and behind him backward at the knees, then bring her sword pammel up to slam the metal pommel right against the man's chest… all while fluidly coming back up into a standing position once the move is worked through. Diana then looks down to the man and sweeps her sword in a slash with the intention of splitting his rifle into two halves!

Then… her eyes rise. "J'onn?" She calls out into the comm in her ear again. "Are you in need of direct assistance?" She has to ask, not enjoying the notion of the man holding silence… but perhaps his own comm system was damaged?

Diana's movements are rapidfire and quick — the gunman getting off only a single, wild shot that embeds itself into a tree before she has him lying flat on his back, coughing and spluttering in reaction to the quick strike that has him writhing on the ground before her sword slices cleanly through the gun.

The man's eyes widen. "Shit, don't— please don't hurt me!" It's not the usual reaction of bad guys to a super hero's arrival — clearly the JLA are better known for their restraint than that, and Diana the most visible and recognized of them all, especially here in New York.

No response from the Martian Manhunter, though there's the sounds of more gunfire to the west, across the park.

When the man on the ground speaks, Diana pays him no heed beyond noticing him trying to sit up so she reaches her armored right foot out and presses her boot down against his chest then steps down to push him back down onto the concrete. "Do not move." Diana tells the man in the ski mask. "This is my order to you." She explains. "Stay here, lay here… and I will not hurt you. Move from this spot?" She holds her sword up a bit. "And I will make sure you cannot move for a very long time."

Diana looks around for Police Cruisers or any Officers, but she sees none as of yet… but with J'onn not responding she has to take action and she suddenly leaps into the air and soars off toward the west, her eyes scanning for the gunfire she can hear with her advanced hearing… tracking it, looking for her partner in this fight from the JLA…

The man cringes back onto the ground, eyes widening as they flicker towards the sword when she lifts it, a hint of obvious fear in his gaze. "I… I won't move. I promise!" he says, hastily, fingers twitching as if trying to resist the urge to lean away from that sword.

It doesn't take her long to find the source of the other battle that takes place in the park. There are two humans — one standing further back behind a tree, firing towards the green-skinned, familiar form of the Martian Manhunter — while the other is currently being hoisted from the ground by said Martian, writhing and choking.

Despite his normal lack of physical reactions, there are little things — ticks and movements — that Diana, who has known J'onn longest of all the JLA members — knows. His twitching of lips, faint and easily missed, the lightening of eyes, whether in human or alien form, subtle movements and choices of where he stands and how he moves betray emotions that are usually only conveyed via his rarely used telepathy.

There is none of that in him, now. None of the calm, deliberate movements, borne from logic. Instead, his fingers flex, choking the gunman further until nerveless fingers drop his weapon, but still, the Martian does not release the man.

Diana does indeed spot the gun battle and she does indeed see J'onn… looking a bit more stressed than normal for the Martial Manhunter. Again she drops out of the sky, this time for the gunman at the tree. Her sword and shield have been returned to her back however and now she has her lasso out in both of her hands! Diana whirls the lasso around her head as she rushes at the gunman at the tree, she lashes her right arm out and sends the lasso on a swirling course toward wrapping around the tree and the man standing beside it while she runs to meet them both and TIE the man TO the tree!

With lasso around the trunk and the man, Diana shoves him up against it and presses her right hand against his throat and her left against the gun to his chest. "Stop." Is all she says, then moves to tear the gun from the gunman's hands.

With gun held by its center mass in her right hand, Diana turns to look toward J'onn. One step, another step… then Diana is jogging toward him. "J'onn." She says, seeing him choking the Human. "Release him, J'onn." She urges the Alien.

The gunman at the tree doesn't even see Wonder Woman before she's on him — too focused on the alien. A surprised breath huffs out of the man, and seconds later she has him firmly lashed to the tree, struggling to lift the gun and aim moments before she successfully tears it from his hands. His eyes go wide at her order to stop. It's not like he has much choice, though his eyes — expression otherwise hidden by his mask — very obviously darts towards his companion being attended to by the other Justice League member.

He does not turn to look, yet it is obvious that the Martian Manhunter recognizes the voice that addresses him. "They hurt the city. The city has been hurt badly. It is time to stop it." His fingers tighten, further, the man's face going red, obviously struggling to breathe and not long from passing out — or worse.

There's something she's never heard in his voice before: anger.

Diana, still holding the gun at her side, stares on as J'onn seems to be filled with rage that she's all to keen on being a definite side effect of the Manhunter's exposure to the Red Lantern affairs from earlier this year… She takes another step toward him and shakes her head, her dark hair whipping about her face in the warm summer winds, but she stares past it.

"You are not a man who deals in futilities, J'onn." She says to him in her husky Greek accented English. "However right you may be, you know that killing this pathetic monster will not solve the ultimate problems plaguing this city, or any other cities upon Earth."

Diana's free hand reaches up and points to the man he's choking. "These are pawns, pawns that can be contained in a holding facility where Justice can be served unto them." She then holds the rifle up in front of her and twists it in her hands until it snaps into two halves with a pop!

"Put him down." She tells J'onn. "Turn him over to the Police and then let us focus on the larger issues. They are what we must face. They are our responsibility here."

"Perhaps. Perhaps not. We can not know until we try." It is a sort of logic, in itself, even if it's rooted in something obviously dark and far from the Martian's normal leaps of logic.

J'onn doesn't release the man, not immediately, but Diana's words draw his gaze. There's something sharp and furious in his gaze — the thing that makes the man in his grasp try and twist and lean away from as much for his physical violence. Moments past, in that still tableau before, finally, J'onn's hand lowers, allowing the man in his grasp to at least find purchase on the ground.

Another moment, and he releases the man, who falls, coughing and spluttering, to the ground.

"Your logic is sound, Princess Diana. We must, instead, find and destroy those that directed these into this city." He sounds so matter-of-fact about the find and destroy part.

Diana watches as J'onn releases the criminal back again to the ground and she has an internal wave of relaxation wash over her… at least he seemed to have some control over the Red Lantern power that had tainted him. "Good." Diana softly says back to him then before she turns… and points at the man wrapped around the tree with her lasso.

A few steps are taken then and she retrieves the lasso's hanging end and it glows a brilliantly bright gold against the man it has held to the tree.

The blue eyes of the Amazon Princess look again to the Manhunter. "All you have to do is ask him. He will tell you everything he knows and perceives to be true."

Diana's eyes look then to the gunman and she pulls on the rope, tightening the unbreakable bond even more. "Isn't that true?" She chides the man, compelling him to answer or suffer unberable burning pain if he resists.

The fallen man at J'onn's feet lies mostly still, breathing rapidly and unevenly, on the verge of unconsciousness. But, granted, it could've been worse, especially if Diana had been any later to arrive…

"Fuck y— argh!" a half screamed yelp of pain comes from the man bound by the lasso as it inflicts pain at his lack of cooperation. He's sweaing, under the mark, eyes wild now as he realizes what a bind she's got him in — literally. "I can't tell you! It's not worth my life!" Given he doesn't writhe in pain, that's obviously the truth.

"You will tell us who your master is," J'onn states. The man shakes his head, then writhes again. "Please, don't make me!"

Diana stands beside the tree that the man is wrapped too and her eyes go from the gun man to that of J'onn when he speaks to him and then back to the gunman as he pleads. She reaches her left hand out and palce sit atop the man's head, then pulls the ski mask off and tosses it aside, leaving his face exposed.

"We are given opportunities in life to choose pathways that we shall walk upon." Diana speaks to the man then. "These pathways are a responsibility to choose as wisely as possible and with as much foresight as our minds will give us on what each route will lead to. You chose this pathway, you chose to endanger your life for this cause that you are fighting for… So -you- decided it -was- worth your life."

And then the lasso of truth is tugged tighter yet still. "Now. Who do you work for?" She asks him outright and clearly.

The man is clearly not prone to speeches, radiating a defiance that is soon deflated in the face of the tightening of the lasso and Diana's determined questioning. "I don't know his name. We call him Mr. Gold — because he's obsessed with collecting it, you know? He calls us, tells us when and where he wants us, and we get what he wants. He leaves cash in a locker at Grand Central."

"And why does he want gold?" J'onn asks, pointedly, as he steps closer, fingers twitching as he lifts his hand towards the man's throat, almost like a reflex.

Shaking his head hastily, the man's eyes widen. "I don't fucking know! He just pays us for it, all right? Look, my phone is in my pocket. Just take it and… leave us." The man is hopeful there's still some outcome in which he leaves the scene unincarcerated, clearly.

Diana listens to this and glances to J'onn as he steps toward the man. She keeps one hand on her glowing rope while the other glances down at the man's trousers. She doesn't reach into pockets, that was never a good idea… and a woman like her doesn't have to. Diana's free hand reaches out toward said pocket and she hooks her middle two fingers inside it and then rips it open! Her hand then scoops the phone up before it can fall down to the ground.

Her eyes glance down at the phone in her hand and then up to the man in the lasso. "What is your passcode?" She asks, since the phone is locked after a thumbswipe. "And what is the number of the locker at Grand Central Station?" She asks further, pulling a little more on the rope, making the man's air flow likely feel much more constricted while his ribs will feel like they're about to break from the pressure squeezing around him!

The man writhes and twists, but he's more than game to give up first the passcode, then the locker number — as much due to the lasso, as Diana's quick work snatching his phone — not to mention J'onn's lifted hand hovering near his throat. "Please, please," the man is begging now. "I've given you everything. Just let me go."

"No. That is not possible." Does J'onn, for a moment, sound satisfied? Again, not a thing normally conveyed vocally by him. He is silent a moment, and something troubled slips into his features for half-a-heartbeat, as his hand falls back to his side. "I am sorry, Princess Diana," he says, abruptly.

Across the park, there are lights, and shouts. The police have obviously found the other man Diana confronted, still on the ground where he promised to be.

Diana tests the passcode on the phone and it unlocks so she lowers it to her side. Her eyes fixate on J'onn and she observes him… he's struggling to maintain a calm balance inside his mind… that much she can see clear as day. But he's also… accomplishing it none the less. Still though, its a concern.

Her stare goes back to the Police arriving on the scene. "We should release him to them now." She tells her partner. A second later and the golden glowing rope deactivates its shine and it magically unfurls itself from around the tree. A second after that and Wonder Woman has it coiled up again and reattached to her leather harness on her left hip.

"You are under arrest now, sir." She tells the man. "You will give more information to the police, to aide them in their part of seeing justice done here today." She says these words softly, but a stern stare/glare toward the gunman.

A couple of officers approach them, guns drawn but pointed down towards the ground when they recognize the two members of the JLA. "Appreciate your help, Princess Diana. We've got them in hand." The one nods to his partner, who flicks out a pair of handcuffs and begins to restrain the two men.

J'onn, for his part, falls silent after a nod of agreement with Diana — whether because he's still working to get himself under control, or he's content to play the silent, cautious approach around police officers. In this guise, he is far more intimidating and humans with guns are prone to shoot first, ask questions later.

Diana will then go on to spend a few minutes talking to the Police. She has a good working relationship with a lot of the officers, though more-so the higher ranking ones than the street cops. She relays to them what she saw and did on-scene upon her arrival and then takes a step away to go over toward J'onn.

Once beside him she eyes him closely and when they have a moment together she asks. "Are you okay?" She asks him then. "Back there… you seemed, unlike yourself. On the verge of making a bad mistake. A thing that I know is not in your character." She watches him closely to judge his physical reaction. Diana is the leader of the League, she makes the calls on who can and cannot be partaking in these kinds of public exploits if she feels that they are unsafe or will do more harm than good.

While she talks with the police, he stands with hands clasped behind his back, a familiar pose — eyes closed. Meditating, no doubt. They open again when she nears, and there's a sense of familiar, steady calm about him once more as he returns her look.

"It has been a difficult, exhausting few days for me. I had thought the break that I had had helped." The slightest touch of a frown graces his features, and is gone. "Clearly I was mistaken." His head inclines, for a moment. "You asked me to keep a log. It seems that… when I am forced to draw on my physical powers, it becomes more… challenging for me. I… understand if this admission requires that you remove me from the active roster." He regards her evenly, awaiting her response.

Diana just stands there now facing him with her hands resting at her sides and her eyes on his own. She lets her head shake side to side one time. "I do not see a reason that you should be removed from the active roster. Because you did the right thing here." She replies to him. "What I do see is a concern that you need to only do… Active Roster Things… if you have another with you. To make sure that you are okay and that you can be confident in knowing that someone is with you who will share your best interests at heart and bring you back should the, rage, try to take you away."

Diana's form shifts as she takes a breath and exhales it sharply. "You did do the right thing here today. You could have made a poor choice, and maybe you would have if I had not been here… but maybe you would not have done it either. But in the end, it is best to err on the side of caution. So should you do…" She glances away toward the police who are dealing with the remnants of the situation. "More like this. Then take someone else with you, for the time being." And her eyes return to his again.

Diana nods once then and shows him a soft smile. "I am glad you are taking the log advice as well."

"With your help," J'onn corrects. There is no attempt to excuse or minimize his issue: clearly it concerns him as well, even if it can't be seen within the stoic red gaze of his eyes as he regards Diana. After a moment, he bows his head in deference to her wisdom. "That is… as always… wise advice, and I shall surely follow it."

He is a statue, the wind gently whipping through his cloak as, while Diana glances towards the police, his gaze remains on her. "It has provided clarity on the issue. There are, other ways I can help, if I am alone and need to intervene." He is reluctant to use his extensive telepathic powers — has always been — but it is clear he is unsettled enough to consider them as a last resort, in preference to whatever effect the Red Lanterns seem to have left in him.

"You know of Thanos?" he says, out of nowhere.

The man's response is listend closely too and she gently nods her head as he speaks his words, at least up to the point where he asks that last question. This gets a curious cocked head toward her left shoulder from the Princess as she regards him. "Thomas?" She asks in response. She knew many Thomas' in her years amongst 'Man's World' and it was hard to respond to such an out of the blue question with regard to any form of an answer she'd assume was on the level that he was asking for.

So! Diana just shakes her head side to side. "I am afraid not." She answers him. "Who is Thomas?" She asks back at the Manhunter.

A brief shake of head, and the Martian corrects: "Thanos," a slight emphasis to make it distinct from 'Thomas'. "I am not sure. It seems he has sent minions to Earth in search of something called a… Ba'Bi Sitaire. I have the databases actively searching for any references to Thanos or to the thing he searches for. Whatever it is clearly can't be good."

J'onn turns his head, watching as the police begin leading the gunmen away across the park. "I get the distinct feeling more will come. I will see that we introduce another search pattern in the Watchtower's monitoring to account for it."

Diana nods her head softly then to his words. "Ah." She says then. "I see… Just what we need. Another disturbance from above." She exhales just a little. "It seems every time one is defeated it stirs up three more." But that is said mostly in passing. A smile is shown then quickly to J'onn.

"Thank you for taking the lead on this search then. If there is anything I can do to assist you with in this endeavor then please let me know. Also… Superman, reach out to him if you are able. He can help with this, I am sure of it." She would say Hal could assist as well, but Hal has been on another assignment as of late.

"And again… if you feel a rage building in you, then you need to make sure that others with the League are with you." She does then dip her chin toward him. "Otherwise, if something 'bad' does happen… I will have to take you off of the active roster." Her tone would indicate that is something she does not wish to do.

"I shall keep you and everyone else in the loop. I fear this is not a thing that will be easily solved," the Martian states, and though there's no worry conveyed in his tones, that he brings it up at all is clearly of concern. He gives a nod to her suggestion that he talk to Superman.

"I understand," J'onn says, with an accepting nod. And he will understand if she has to remove him, reluctance or not. Whatever her personally feels about such a thing is buried beneath the stoic — if normal — veneer of his. "I had best return to the Watchtower and resume my meditation. Thank you for coming to my assistance, Princess Diana." He inclines his head towards her again, respectfully, and — hands unfolding from behind his back — begins to rise up towards the sky.

END

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